PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said the time had come to raise voice for the mandate of Punjab, adding that it seemed as if they had to launch a “Save Punjab Movement”.

No province was facing the worst possible situation like Punjab due to the PTI government, he said and added, “It is called disaster governance, not good governance.”

Addressing a press conference here, Ahsan said the threat of further coronavirus spread was still there, adding that 20 million people had been pushed below the poverty line in two years of the PTI government.

Commenting on the latest increase in the prices of the medicines and the situation faced by hospitals amid budget cut, the PML-N leader questioned what the poor would do after making the healthcare expensive.

He said the government had destroyed the PMDC (Pakistan Medical and Dental Council) and ignored the problems faced by doctors who served the people in the pandemic while not caring about their own lives.

Ahsan’s remarks about Punjab came on a day when Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his pleasure over the performance of Usman Buzdar-led provincial government.

There have been a lot of rumours about the possible removal of Buzdar but the government members are denying these vehemently. The latest comments made by Imran are a proof that the PTI leadership is not going to bin Buzdar despite a dismal show since coming into office.

Earlier, the PTI-led federal government allowed a 7 to 10 percent further increase in the medicines’ prices under consumer price index as stated in a notification issued by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) after amending the drug pricing policy.

This notification allowing the drug manufacturing companies to increase the prices is issued on the recommendation of the federal government and the DRAP Policy Board.

The notification says the manufacturers and the imports now can increase the prices of basic medicines by 7 percent, while this hike is 10 percent in the case of others.

Another alarming feature of the notification is that the DRAP will now increase the drugs prices every year on the basis of consumer price index which in the current scenario is expected to rise.

Hence, there is very little chance of any reduction after this yearly review as the inflation is on the rise due to multiple factors, including the devaluation.

The drug manufacturers mostly depend on imported ingredients and the devaluation is certainly increasing the cost, not to mention the imported medicines as the price hike is obvious in that case.